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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Extreme Beer in America – Circus Novelty or the New Normal?
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:50 PM   #31
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I drink and brew the occasional oddball/extreme beer - occasional.

My problem with some aspects of the extreme beer trend is that it can then become the new standard expectation for a style. I first observed this with wheat beers. It became an "arms race" to see who could make the most yeasty flavored hefeweissen. A person couldn't taste the wheat anymore in many of these. Lately it has been hoppy beers.

Then problem then is that if a beer is made according to the "old school" style people think it tastes thin and weak. Just look and the ratings/reviews on the web for a standard European lager. Some of these are quite fine, but because they don't bowl you over with a blast of flavors, they only get an OK rating. Oh and if it is under 7% ABV Fugetaboutit

Eventually this will run their course, but my concern is that it will forever impact what is judged to be a great beer. I find the beers that I really like the best are subtle and nuanced. I fear we may lose to many of these beers
Thanks for your reply, I think you hit the nail on the head. I mix things up sometimes too, but I really love the traditional styles. It sometimes seems like these old styles require techniques that brewers don't want to bother with, so the style gets tweaked a little. Decoction mashes is the example that comes to mind.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I drink and brew the occasional oddball/extreme beer - occasional.

My problem with some aspects of the extreme beer trend is that it can then become the new standard expectation for a style. I first observed this with wheat beers. It became an "arms race" to see who could make the most yeasty flavored hefeweissen. A person couldn't taste the wheat anymore in many of these. Lately it has been hoppy beers.

Then problem then is that if a beer is made according to the "old school" style people think it tastes thin and weak. Just look and the ratings/reviews on the web for a standard European lager. Some of these are quite fine, but because they don't bowl you over with a blast of flavors, they only get an OK rating. Oh and if it is under 7% ABV Fugetaboutit

Eventually this will run their course, but my concern is that it will forever impact what is judged to be a great beer. I find the beers that I really like the best are subtle and nuanced. I fear we may lose to many of these beers
I'm not sure what you're talking about with the "most yeasty hefeweizen" arms race... the traditional German ones are very yeasty.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #33
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I dont think extreme beers are overtaking "regular" beer at all. All of these breweries still have their main sellers. Rogue still makes dead guy right? Its not like these extreme beers will keep a brewery afloat. They do generate publicity though. Which hopefully means more sales for them.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:14 PM   #34
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A lot of commercial brewers are in that line of work because they didn't want to sit in a cubicle all day long, doing TPS reports and having to answer to 8 bosses. They wanted a job where they could be creative and freewheeling and experimental. There's certainly an element of marketing to a lot of these beers, but I don't know how many brewers get fired up about making another batch of Fat Tire or whatever pays the bills.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #35
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I dont think extreme beers are overtaking "regular" beer at all. All of these breweries still have their main sellers. Rogue still makes dead guy right? Its not like these extreme beers will keep a brewery afloat. They do generate publicity though. Which hopefully means more sales for them.
I love dead guy, I think it is a great beer. It is not an extreme beer, but it is an "americanized" adaptation of a traditional beer.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #36
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I love dead guy, I think it is a great beer. It is not an extreme beer, but it is an "americanized" adaptation of a traditional beer.
Thats what im saying, Rogue couldnt stay afloat on that maple voodoo stuff.

Its like one of the local breweries down here, they have their bread and butter, ie their porter and pilsner that they sell the most of, because they are normal beers that bars can serve. Then they have had some other out there beers.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #37
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I'm not sure what you're talking about with the "most yeasty hefeweizen" arms race... the traditional German ones are very yeasty.
This is true for sure, but I have had way too many American wheats were the yeast flavors are over the top - in my opinion. Way over what one expects compared to the German versions
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #38
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I'm not necessarily pointing out the strength of beer, I think traditional german and english beers are fantastic and the Americanized versions of those beers do not do them justice. So, why do we insist on abandoning the old ways?
I don't think it's so much abandoning the old ways, as much as experimenting for something different. Just like my mom asked me when I first started brewing, "Have you made Miller Lite yet?" And I replied, "Why would I make Miller Lite? It's been done and perfected and I could go buy it cheaper than making it." I think that's the way a lot of people look at the traditional styles. it's not bad, it's just already been perfected. The whole craft brew industry is based on trial and error. Even the traditional styles wouldn't exist if at one point someone said, "Why would you roast the malt like that? We've already got this perfect version of pale malt right here."
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:45 PM   #39
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I love dead guy, I think it is a great beer. It is not an extreme beer, but it is an "americanized" adaptation of a traditional beer.
So? It still would pass Bavarian purity (as all it has is barley, yeast, water and hops) and even has some traditional hops (Saaz) and has the bock base Munich malt.

Why can we not enjoy "Americanized" (for cost or creativity) versions of these beers? Do you think every brewery in Germany uses the same ingredients when making their Maibocks?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:55 PM   #40
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Personally, I enjoy the creativity and extremism that comes out of some breweries. I don't like to drink the same old stuff all the time and some of those "traditional" beers are only drank as fallback beers to me. I mean, heck, the first beer I ever brewed was a coconut black ipa, and one of the ones I just bottled is a coconut pineapple pale ale. If everybody made the same thing, there would be no need for 1000+ breweries in the US, and we would still be drinking pale lagers.

Obviously everyone is different though.

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